MIG welders and plasma cutters might carry more cache, but serious metal cred comes from the mastery of a simple flame. The oxy-acetylene torch setup is one of the most affordable versatile tools in any shop. With it, a competent operator can heat, weld, braze, silver-solder, and cut. We've used it for all of the above, but it's most often used to heat steel for bending and to cut. Cutting with the torch is so incredibly simple and cost-effective compared to plasma cutting— especially for thicker materials—that it cannot be ignored. Fortunately, it's also not that hard to learn. Here's a quick primer to the tool every metal shop should have.